Gold Fields workers heed warning

2012-10-17 09:53

Johannesburg - Workers returned to Gold Fields' Beatrix one, two and three shafts as expected on Wednesday after the company issued a final ultimatum before firing them, a spokesperson said.

Wednesday's attendance was "full turn out," said Willie Jacobsz.

On Monday the gold producer issued a final ultimatum to workers at those shafts on a wildcat strike since September 24 saying that if they did not come back they would be fired.

Up to 70% turned up en masse at the mine near Welkom in the Free State, irrespective of their shift on Tuesday.

They were sent home and told to report according to the shift roster on Wednesday.

The company also issued a final ultimatum to workers at the KDC West mine near Carletonville, Gauteng, and Beatrix number four shaft to be back at work by Thursday 2pm.

There was no sign of them yet.

"There has been a lot of informing and consultations taking place. We can expect them tomorrow (Thursday) at best," Jacobsz said.

The ultimatum did not apply to the 8 500 KDC East mineworkers who went on strike on Sunday but the company has applied for an interdict at KDC east declaring the strike unlawful.

Those who returned to work by the deadline would benefit from an agreement reached under the auspices of the Chamber of Mines, "notwithstanding that the offer has expired", Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland said.

Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] had lost about R1.2bn in revenue and 65,000 ounces in gold production due to the strike.

The company had saved R900m in wages over the same period, Holland said.

He said Gold Fields had been left with little option but to issue the ultimatums, given the escalating violence among strikers. This included intimidation, attempted murder, and damage to property.


  • neal.vantonder - 2012-10-17 10:09

    Finally some sense prevails!

      fussed.anderson - 2012-10-17 10:44

      Give them a bonus just for having brains

      mlucejko - 2012-10-17 11:17

      In my opinion, for what it's worth, all these problems on the mines, the strikes and violence, started to 'brew' in 94... First we had an ANC Government that promised 'everyone' a better life under their Management, but apart from building RDP houses (which sadly are generally sub-standard) nothing much changed.. Oh, they could all vote, but their bellies were still empty !! This government 'dished out' Mining Licences with no thought to 'Social and Environmental Responsibilities' It should have been a 'pre-requisite' for any Licence to be granted that it also covered decent housing, healthcare, developmental training for it's employees with a decent 'living wage' and a responsibility to ensure that the environment both in and around the mine was in accordance with 'World Health/Environmental Standards.. If all this had been implemented from Day-One of granting the Licence, with Qualified Inspectors to maintain those standards, the problems the country experienced would never have happened

      Brian Dorning - 2012-10-17 11:55

      @mlucejko. You are so right, people have empowered themselves (ANC, Malema, Unions etc) by making promises to desperate people who were easily manipulated! The only problem with making a promise is that someday someone will expect you to deliver on it...the day will also come when you won't be able to hide behind the excuse of 'apartheid, Verwoed, whites and Tereblanche'

      claudia.meads - 2012-10-17 12:03

      WOW..! Another thumbs up to the Beatrix miners, there may in fact be a small glimmer of hope for SA, coming from the Free State "noggal"... I think the 'Free State tannies' should bake all the miners a huge bunch of 'koeksisters' (I hope I got the spelling right) and have it ready when they surface later today. After the thumbs were up though, I suggest the rest of SA, hold thumbs that it will last and as such spread.

  • sandra.j.rennie - 2012-10-17 10:20

    There is only one way to deal with staff and that is the way Goldfields have done it. Who the devil do the staff think they are ? They are simply workers, employed, paid a salary to do the work they were employed to do. Do they for one minute ever have a sleepless night worrying about productivity, cash flow and all that goes with the running of a business Do they ever worry about reporting to the Shareholders ? I think not ! So you lot get on with your jobs and be happy that you have one!

      chris.gill.9849 - 2012-10-17 10:24

      It's attitudes like yours that led to this problem in the fist place. They're not "just workers", they're people. I don't agree with the strikes, but I'd rather lose sleep over productivity and cash flow than from hunger and from worry over not being able to feed my family. A bit more understanding and communication from the bosses would have gone a long way in preventing this whole mess.

      gaius.longinus.9 - 2012-10-17 10:43

      @Chris, as it stood they previously agreed to increases, thus, they did get paid for what they do and they got paid according to what they or their representatives agreed to with the employer. If they went hungry, they must look for other work, or budget accordingly.

      customdesign - 2012-10-17 10:56

      Chris- their strikes are plummeting our country into financial trouble, which means that other people wont get jobs in the future, and that even some of them are going to be without work. They are not starving and earn fair wages for what they do. they should have followed the avenues provided for them to negotiate wages, they have in effect bitten the hand that feeds them as well as other workers in South Africa. I have no sympathy for them.

      Brian Dorning - 2012-10-17 11:48

      @Chris, how about blaming Union bosses as well. They convinced the mines that they would get salary increases in excess of 300%! Where on earth is that going to become a reality!?? Come on man, I bet that your employer would laugh at you if you wanted an increase of 300%! I am an employer, and if i had to put my wages up by 300% I would not make it to the end of next month, down the tubes with my business along with jobs!

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-17 10:22

    Well done miners, rather listen to the bosses than the strike leaders.

      raymond.romans.5 - 2012-10-17 13:28

      "We will strike for three months, if longer, until our demands are met." Haha, so much for that. Well done to the Goldfields management.

  • attie.mostert.9 - 2012-10-17 10:26

    About time, I you are unhappy with your pay etc, find another job

  • khathu.rasi - 2012-10-17 10:27

    Jah thats better

  • henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-10-17 10:38

    Tell the unions to go away!!!

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-10-17 10:52

    WOW, it took this long for someone to do the right thing!! Well done GOld Fields!!

  • Mmathabo Monareng - 2012-10-17 11:39

    striking is not a solution if u are not happy or satisfied with smthng @wrk negotiate with your employer, cos no wrk no pay en u will be sinking alone in debts en de union wont help u to pay.

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